10 questions with Tajh

CLEMSON - CUTigers sits down with freshman quarterback Tajh Boyd after his first five practices as a Clemson Tiger.

1-ON-1 WITH TAJH BOYD: (4:07)

You've have just about a week of practice in the books ... do you still think you are going to see the field this year and avoid a redshirt?
Boyd: Yeah. I think I do still. I won't feel any other way until they name a starter and then that will depend on how the season plays out, of course. But right now I'm just out there and make the best out of every opportunity I can because I have a limited number of reps.

Is there anything that has surprised you through the first week of preseason camp?
Boyd: How fast the defense is. I didn't really get that perspective in the spring. They really fly around out here.

How does you knee feel right now?
Boyd: I do little practice cuts and I don't feel anything. They said I should feel a little bit of pain but that's normal. I'm probably 85 or 90 percent right now.

What's been the toughest adjustment for you in your first week as a college quarterback?
Boyd: Just making sure I'm getting the plays down. That's the main thing. Making sure I'm making the right reads ... things like that.

If we were to take a look at your CD player right now or your iPod, what would be the first two songs we'd see?
Boyd: The Fray - You Found Me. I love that song. Probably Lil' Wayne or Kanye West would be the next one.


"I've got all the hand signals down and I'm constantly putting everything together. I talk to the quarterbacks a lot so they can break it down for me and that makes it easy. This isn't like a regular offense - there's a lot to it."
What's been the most difficult aspect of learning this offense?
Boyd: I've got all the hand signals down and I'm constantly putting everything together. I talk to the quarterbacks a lot so they can break it down for me and that makes it easy. This isn't like a regular offense - there's a lot to it. It's really more of a progression thing, like, what if the safety were to rotate this way and what if a linebacker breaks that way. So far, when I'm going through my mental reps, I'm starting to get things down.

What exactly is a 'mental rep' for a quarterback?
Boyd: I'm watching them and I try to see what they are going to do before they do it. Like if the safety rotates this way I'm like, 'okay, he's reading the field or he's reading the boundary.' Stuff like that- just trying to double check things.

Do Kyle and Willy help you through all of this a good bit? Isn't it a bit awkward when they know you are trying to take their job?
Boyd: No. No. It's not awkward. We are all pretty cool. Me and them and Mike [Wade]. I'll ask a question and they answer me and vice-versa. It's still a competition, of course but no its not awkward at all.

If you could compare your game to any other quarterback, either in college or the NFL, who would it be and why?
Boyd: [Former Ohio State quarterback]Troy Smith. A lot of people have told me that and in high school that's who I emulated my game after. In high school I was No. 10 because of him and that number was available here so that's why I'm No. 10 here at Clemson. When I got here everybody was like you should get a real number now and I was like, 'No, I'm going to keep No. 10.'

What did you like so much about what Troy Smith did at Ohio State?
Boyd: He wasn't 6-5 or the prototypical size for a quarterback. He was just a smart player. He was nasty. I don't know what happened in that Florida game but I used to watch some of his games he would show good burst and then hit a perfect deep ball.

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